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promises, president obama promising to cut the red tape. now have they all forgotten about the victims? we're back with our political panel. john, you can see the frustration, you know. the man blasting president obama about his vacation to hawaii, just said he doesn't have electricity. you know, what about it? >> it's perfectly understandable and justified. i mean, you have the entire national media swoop in for a story where president obama and chris christie shook hands and that was supposed to be his great heartwarming moment where they were going to come together to fix things. now a month later there are real problems here and government just simply hasn't been working for a lot o these people. you have stories where there are perfectlily got fema trailers sitting in pennsylvania when they could be put to use in new york or new jersey. >> greta: why aren't they there? >> no one knows. i don't know. you hear people telling stories about filling out forms, people who are approved to use the money to stay at a marriott but not a comfort inn. there are so many problems. it really does ca
. well, 28 days to go until tax cuts expire for most americans if president obama and congress can't cut a deal to keep us from going off the fiscal cliff. the president says the latest republic offer is out of balance because it extends tax cuts on income of above $250,000. g.o.p. leaders claim they can raise revenue without raising rates by closing loopholes and limiting deductions. but the white house says it's about the rates. ed henry is at the white house tonight. the president claims the republic math does not add up. >> that's right, shep. he met with the nation's governors today. he said behind closed doors that there is a lot at stake not just for the national economy but state by state. some of their budgets could take a major hit if, in fact, the nation goes off the so-called fiscal cliff. his spokesman jay carney was even tougher in going after speaker john boehner's latest proposal in saying it simply doesn't add up. >> we don't know who pays. we don't know what we're talking about in terms of actual legislation to increase revenues. it's magic beans and fairy dust. >> the
. president obama and house speaker john boehner spoke on the phone about the situation yesterday. among the major sticking points is republican support for continuing tax cuts for the wealthiest americans, something mr. obama disagrees with. >> we could probably solve this in about a week. it's not that tough. but we need that conceptual breakthrough that says we need a balanced plan. that's what's best for the economy. that's what the american people voted for. that's how we're going to get it done. >> mr. obama's treasury secretary, tim geithner, went a step further, saying that the president would allow the nation to go over the fiscal cliff at the end of the year, if republicans don't agree to raise taxes on the wealthy. >>> and maybe abraham lincoln can help the fiscal cliff negotiations. harry reid believes so. the senate will get inspiration when reid hosts a clescreening the spielberg movie. >> whatever helps to get things moving, right? >>> hundreds of same-sex couples in washington state lined up overnight to get a marriage license now that they can legally wed. the county cle
says president obama believes he can cut a deal with house republicans to keep from all going over the fiscal cliff. the president is refusing to compromise on letting tax cuts expire on incomes of more than $250,000 a year. g.o.p. leaders are calling that a job killer and a deal breaker. of course, if we fall off the fiscal cliff, we'll all die, right? actually, taxes will go up for pretty much everybody and automatic spending cuts kick in on knew year's day. the president and the house speaker met face-to-face just yesterday for the first time since the election, but are they talking about it? no. today an aide said the speaker is willing and still waiting for counteroffer from the president. ed henry is live at the white house. i don't know, ed. a meeting happens and nobody says anything. this could be seen as something more good than bad. >> reporter: exactly. because they didn't come out of the meeting beating each other up and saying i'm never going to sign a deal with the other guy. the fact that they're keeping this quiet, hush hush for now in terms of the details of what t
with spending cuts and expiring tax credits. today, president obama pushed his proposed fix saying a deal must include higher tax rates. republicans say that is a job killer. they is said that forever. they let go of that, meeting at the white house yesterday. neither side will give any details about the conversation between president obama and speaker boehner. wendell, is there any time left to get this done? >>reporter: well, folks think there is time for enough of a deal but stopped short of a fiscal cliff but some think that has to happen this week. at a daimler truck stop the president didn't mention the upper income tax hike he is demanding but warned what will happen if congress doesn't extend the middle-class tax cuts both sides want. >> people will spend nearly $200 billion less than otherwise they would spend. consumer spending will go down. that means you have less customers, businesses get fewer profits, they hire fewer workers, you go in a downward spiral. wrong idea. >>reporter: the president criticized the right-to-work deal that michigan's republican legislature is set to pass
, but the democrats also want to extend some of the tax cuts that were enacted as part of obama's 2009 stimulus plan. that's where you get that bump up for college tuition and extra child credits and that sort of thing. >> we have another graphic i want to throw up. this is pretty much your upper middle class couple, combined yearly income, 940,000 bucks. under the democrats' plan, you see the numbers, taxes going up about $37,000. much less when you see the republican plan numbers, about $17,000. and then if we go off the cliff, this couple gets hammered because their taxes go up close to $50,000. their best deal, laurie montgomery, coming from the republicans. >> right. exactly. because the republicans don't want to raise their rates where as if we go over the cliff, they lose everything. everyone loses everything if we go over the cliff. and the democrats want those folks to lose their income tax rates anyhow so they get a better deal from the republicans because the republicans are saying, no, no, we want to extend the tax cuts for you too. >> laurie montgomery from the washington post, thank yo
with reliable travel times. and it will respond directly, presumably priestly to cut the tolls in half. reading between the lines and the statements, it sounds like the answer is no. >> indeed, it does. >>> another big story, the fiscal cliff debate. and fox 5 learned that president obama and john boehner spoke on the issue today, but the results have not been made public. the white house is asking federal agencies to plan for $100 billion in spending cuts and that is what happened if not resolved. administration believes the deal will be done. john boehner made an offer earlier this week putting $800 billion on new revenue on the table. he got hit hard by the administration and members of his own party. >> we have to cut spending and, i believe, it's super flowous. >> and that is a law, higher rates to go up for the 2072%, including all of you. yes. >> reporter: president obama was speaking to business leaders when he made the comment. he insists he will veto any bill not including tax increases on wealthier americans. >>> the defense department started planning for the roughly $500 billion in
triggering massive tax hikes and spending c cuts. >>> no sign of president obama, the first lady, sash has or malia, this year it's all about bo. the card was designed by iowa artist and dog lover lorissa cable. >>> a holiday surprise for some walmart shoppers in south florida. secret santas paid off their layaway bills. >> my layaway is paid? >> yep. the rest of your balance is paid off. >> are you serious? >> yes, very serious. you no longer own a balance. >> tell santa thank you very much! >> an athletic club pitched in $500 which helped six families. several layaway shoppers say they wish they could meet their secret santas to give them a hug and kiss and say thank you. >>> time for your early reads. your local news making national headlines. we begin with tacoma's news tribune which says day one of legalized marijuana was pretty chill. there were no run on doritos, increased in car wrecks, no crazy displays of joy. >>> to florida, the sun sentinel newspaper, florida wildlife officials announcing the 2013 python challenge. it's a hunting contest that begins next month because the burme
. this comes as another republican is ready to break ranges. he said he could support president barack obama's demand for an increase in tax rates as part of a comprehend sufficient plan -- comprehensive plan to cut the federal deficit. some are looking for ways to save faces a they give in. >>> and maintenance costs, used by state lawmakers, at least a douse member of the legislature had repairs on those vehicles and repairs were made before lawmakers used them for their personal use. in any case the costs were thousands of dollars. >> only state in the country finally ended this program and they saw some abuse and they saw voters did not like the program and that it was a perk they could give up. >> starting this year, lawmakers are not issued any cars anymore instead they are. >> paid a moulin rate -- mileage rate for using their own vehicles. >>> now here is a look at items where they recently confiscated them from the burglary ring. investigators have arrested two brothers and a woman all in their 20s in connection with thefts. if your property is part of the cache look at the web link
98 percent. >> passing middle income tax cuts means the end of holding them hostage from tax cuts for the rich. >> president obama also tried to pin a negotiating tactic on republicans, saying congress can't tie fiscal cliff negotiations to upcoming debt ceiling votes. >> i will not play that game. we've got to break that habit before it starts. >> it's a sign the two sides have a lot to discuss---once they decide to do so. emily schmidt, kron4 news >> depending on you who you speak with. this wild prank. the hospital got a call from deejays she was pretending to be the queen and he was pretending that he was prince charles. incredibly, the hospital thought that it was correct and they released information. >> the call was put through to the ward and i am not impressed i think it was a pretty poor trick to play. there is no chance that this could have been put to the patient. >>catherine: that's the hospital boss - trying to save face. but a lot of people think it was pretty funny - especially when a nurse began instructing the 'queen' on when she should show up during visiting h
>> passing middle income tax holding them hostage from tax cuts for the rich. >> president obama also tried to pin a negotiating tactic on republicans, saying congress can't tie >> i will not play that >> it's a sign the two sides have a lot to discuss---once they decide to do so. emily schmidt, kron4 news >> it appears americans don't mind sharing opinions.. even on things that don't exist. a recent poll by public policy polling found 25- percent of americans took a stance on a phony debt reduction policy called the "panetta-burns plan." the proposal was dreamed up by pollers to test how many people would speak on something they clearly don't know anything about. eight-percent of those polled supported the mythical plan and 17-percent opposed it. in contrast, 39-percent of voters were willing to share their thoughts about the "simpson-bowles" deficit reduction plan... a real policy up for debate in congress. 4:4:02 a.m. we will be right back. this live look from walnut creek. 4:42 all fresh & e z could be closing the stores -- fresh and the ec could be closing easy.... >> welcome back. 4:
>>> good morning, everybody. i'm terrell brown. stunning. that's what they here after the obama administration is ready to go over the fiscal cliff if the gop doesn't bid on higher taxes. a poll shows nearly half of those ads say it's time to end talks cuts for the wealthy but keep it in place for americans earning $250,000 or less. 32% say the tax cuts should remain in place for everyone. during a broadcast interview yesterday timothy geithner was asked what if republican don't agree to raising taxes? >> is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. there's no prospect of an agreement that doesn't involve the tax -- remember, it's 207b8%. remember, all of those americans, too, get a tax cut into that framework on the first $250,000 of their income. >> that said the president and speaker john boehner discussed the budget by phone yesterday. susan mcginnis is in washington with the latest on this game of fiscal chicken. susan, good morning to you. >> right. good morning, terrell. yeah, that phone call does raise the possibility that some serious t
. president obama used his weekly address insisting he is ready to make the tough decisions on spending cuts. >> i am willing to make more entitlement spending cuts on top of the one trillion in spending cuts i signed into law last year. but if we're serious about reducing our deficit while still investing in things like education and research that are important to growing our economy, and if we're serious about protecting middle class families then we're also going to have to ask the wealthiest americans to pay higher tax rates. that is one principle i wouldn't compromise on. >> speaker john boehner has a different view. he says the president needs to abandon what he called his "my way or the highway approach," in his words. if the president does that a lot of things are possible. >>> syrian rebels are battling army units around the capital. activists say 26 people were killed in the damascus suburbs today, while 29 more were killed around the country. meanwhile, the u.s. and other officials warning against chemical weapons. syria says it would never use the chemical weapons against its own
it was pretty exciting for us. >> president obama and lawmakers now have less than four weeks to reach a deal to avoid steep tax hikes and spending cuts from taking effect. >>> 4:34 now. melissa mollet is at the live desk with breaking news. good morning, melissa. >> good morning. sirens are going off. a tsunami warning in japan. take a look at this video we just got into the newsroom. the 7.2 magnitude earthquake has hit off the northern coast. you can see that trafblling camera moving as that quake hits. it shook and swayed buildings for several minutes. residents being told to flee to higher ground right now. at this point, no reports of any damage or injuries. this was the same region that was hit by a massive quake and tsunami in march of 2011. in that quake and tsunami, 19,000 people were killed or went missing. we'll keep an eye on this for you. >>> news outlets are reporting that north korea may set off a long range rocket as early as monday. the country is reportedly fueling the rocket, but satellite images show that heavy snowfall may have slowed down preparations. north korea wants
department jobs that could be lost if automatic trick -- automatic tax cuts are formed. >>> bill clinton says he's not sure if hillary clinton will run for president. she said she does not want to continue a secretary of state for president obama's second term. she said she wants to focus on issues to -- that are important to women. >>> let's see what tara is seeing on 880. >> we have a lot of traffic on pinole and then past the golden gate gate. we're in berkeley/emeryville. we have a traffic issue in here. 280, northbound towards santa clara, looking pretty bad. give yourself extra time. let's check in with steve. >>> tara, thank you. there's definitely some breaks in the clouds. jive seen gusts to 25 miles per hour. i dent think this -- i've seen gusts to 25 miles per hour. i don't think this -- this breeze can helpster things up a little bit. still some low clouds around. i'm seeing breaks in the clouds for san jose. kind of a cooler pattern with the northwest wind. mostly sunny, though, today, no rain except we're done for a while. in fact, as the pattern changes here, even the higher cl
to their positions. the tax cuts should be extended for all americans. danielle nottingham reports for wjz. it comes as president obama meets with a family who would be impacted if the country goes over the fiscal cliff. >> reporter: lawmakers are getting an earful about why they need to avoid the so- called fiscal cliff. >> you gotta nail this down. uncertainty is killing us. >> reporter: top comiftds -- economists came to capitol hill thursday to talk about the impact of tax increases ask government spending cuts on the middle class. >> a couple thousand dollars means a couple months rent for this family. >> reporter: the white house has made clear, the country could go or the cliff -- over the cliff, if republicans refuse to raise taxes on the top 2% of american earners. >> for them to be burdened, unnecessarily, because democrats and republicans aren't coming together to solve this problem, gives you a sense of the costs involved in very personal terms. >> reporter: republican leaders say they will close loopholes and eliminate tax breaks to raise mon
to avoid costs associated with president obama's health care law, citing a publicity backlash and a down graded profit outlook. darden announced that none of its full time employees will have their hours cut as a result of the new regulations. >>> well, believe it or not you'll be seeing more starbucks cafes popping up. the coffee chain is planning to add 1,500 locations in the next five years. more are planned for canada and south america as well. >>> and having the most watched youtube video in u.s. history sure can pay the bills. south korean pop star psi is set to make at least, get this, $8.1 million this year off of his hit song "gangnam style." that just is from the ads on his youtube video and sales of the song on itunes. terrell, we've got to get some itune singing/dancing thing going on. >> you sing, i'll dance. >> i'll dance, you sing. >> you daenlt want me to dance. >> i think we want that. >> ashley morrison in new york. thank you so much. >>> in sports, rack up another milestone for lakers superstar bryant. he seeks a jumper for his 30,000th career point. he's only the fift
. in case you forgot the former senator is one half of the simpson bowles duo appointed by president obama who actually came up with a plan to cut the deficit, a plan that everyone hailed as magnificent but no one wanted to adopt. >>> joining me now is cnn contributor will cain. he leans right. good morning, will. >> good morning. let me tell you something. you said the popularity of gangnam style knows no limits. i beg to differ. >> you do? >> i think we just found its limits, when 8-year-olds start doing gangnam style you can count on its popularity decreasing. we're about a year away from it being makarena. >> trying to get two sides come together to come to a deal on the fiscal cliff. >> i don't know about young people's abilities to force cats and dogs and democrats and republicans to come together to find a deal. he had a much more profound message than just simply dancing in that clip, in that psa essentially. he was trying to alert young people to the fact that old people, bluntly, are organized. look at the army of aarp representatives that ensure that programs like medicare and s
. that looks more complicated until mr. obama demanded republicans raise the debt ceiling this month without any spending cut strings attached. >> if congress in any way suggests they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes, and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, i will not play that game. because we've got to break that habit before it starts. >> reporter: the president sees the fiscal cliff showdown as an opportunity to break that linkage for good. republicans say they will not increase the debt ceiling now $16 trillion and due to expire in february without more deficit reduction. >> history shows the only major deficit cutting deals we ever do around here, ever, comes after debates over the debt ceiling. it may be a good idea if you don't care about the debt, but it's a non-starter for those of us who do. >> reporter: public opinion generally is on the president's side, but republicans in the house are not paralyzed or perilous, more unified behind speaker boehner than a year ago. why is this important? the white house is beginning to no
conversation, at least from the republican standpoint, is being characterized the wrong way. president obama, the democrats aren't looking to raise anyone's taxes. what they're doing is allowing the bush tax cuts to expire. in other words, allow the tax to go back to where they were when we created jobs. i think, if the republicans are able to say, look, we're willing to allow tax to go for 98% of the nation so that we can talk about entitlements, i think that characterization of the conversation will help them in terms of image because right now it doesn't look as if they care about the middle class. they need to focus in on the fact that they're allowing 98%, the majority of the bush tax cuts to be extended, and they can claim that as a victory. i think you will see a shift in the way people are viewing who's at fault in the fiscal cliff conversation, and you'll be able to have a much more positive attitude about the republicans heading into this so-called battle well hillary clinton in the future. >> l.z. granderson and will cain, thank you, gentlemen. we appreciate it. >> thanks, ted. >>
support for president obama's position in the standoff with congressional republicans. >> the new associated press poll find 48% of americans want tax cuts for wealthy to expire. and it says more people want to cut government services than raise taxes to reduce the federal deficit. >> if the nation goes over the cliff at the end of the year it is going to affect everyone including the unemployed as abc's jonathan karl reports. >> reporter: melinda vega has been put on notice. if congress and the president don't get their act together, her unemployment checks will stop immediately at the end of the year. >> we're dependent on that money to pay the bills. she has been what a job for a year. her $450 a week unemployment check her life line. >> we won't be able to pay some of our bills and, i mean, you know, that's for christmas and things of that nature, probably off the table. >> reporter: she is not alone. without a deal, unemployment compensation will end for more than 2 million people out of work more than 26 weeks. many of the unemployed started receiving the news this week from
, december 5th, and "starting point" begins right now. >>> our "starting point" this morning, president obama putting his foot down. he says no tax hikes for the wealthy, no deal. america hits that fiscal cliff in 27 days and that means tax hikes and deep spending cuts if the democrats and the republicans can't come together in some kind of a deal and with just ten days remaining until congress is scheduled to go home for the holidays, the clock ticking. here's what he told bloomberg news. listen. >> we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up and we're not going to be able it to get a deal without it. >> we start this morning with white house correspondent dan lothian, he's in washington, d.c. okay. so who's got the ball in their court at this point then, dan? >> well, you know, i think the house gop, they have presented their counteroffer which white house spokesman jay carney is referring to as, quote, magic beans and fairy dust. we expect that house republicans will keep putting pressure on the white house to engage, push for more details on what the white house will accept w
before everyone's taxes go up and programs get cut. jon karl is following it all. a small breakthrough yesterday, president obama and house speaker john boehner got on the phone. >> reporter: that may not sound like much, george. but it's the first time the two men have spoken in a week. and what may be the most significant sign of progress, neither side talked about what was said on the call, an indication they may be serious about negotiating in private. >> we're starting to see some republicans concede that tax rates on the wealthy, at least, are going to have to go up. the president has another rock-hard bottom line. that's an increase in the u.s. debt limit, as well. >> reporter: that's right. republicans even top republicans, say the tax rates are going to almost certainly go up. but on this question of the debt ceiling, the government reaches the limit of how much money it can borrow in february. republicans say they will exact a price for that. they want spending cuts, if they can't get exchange for the tax increases. they will raise the debt ceiling. >> the president saying he
. wipes out the department of defense, a lot of draconian cuts across the board and taxes on everyone goes up. i hope boehner and obama can find a way to avoid the initial effects of the fiscal cliff. but in february or march you have to raise the debt ceiling. i can tell you this, there is a hardening on the republican side. we're not going to raise the debt ceiling. we're not going to let obama borrow anymore money or any american congress borrow anymore money until with fix this country from becoming greece. that requires significant entitlement reform to save social from bankruptcy and medicare from bankruptcy. social security is going bankrupt in about 20, 25 years. medicare is going bankrupt in 15 or 20 years. the baby boomers are coming in at 10,000 a day. and we just can't scene this. martha: president last week said we'll not play that game. last time around they wouldn't let the debt ceiling go up, i tell you right now, something to this effect we will play that game. >> we will play that game, mr. president. that is not a game. the game you're play something small ball. you're t
in today for john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. >>> up first, president obama standing his ground over the fight in the fiscal cliff. americans face crushing tax hikes and severe spending cuts in 27 days if democrats and republicans cannot come together on a deal. by the way, congress breaks for the holidays in ten days. slash that number. in an interview with bloomberg news, the president made it crystal clear he's not about to blink on the issue of tax hikes for the wealthiest americans. >> we'll have to see the rates on the top 2% go up. and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. >> white house correspondent dan lothian joins us live from washington this morning. very nice to see you, dan. >> good to see you. >> here's the deal. we have republicans pitted against democrats. now we understand there are issues amongst republicans as well. >> that's right. they're in a tough spot here. they don't want to be in left in a position of being blamed for the fiscal cliff. you're seeing a division between house members and senate members. the reason for this is mainly over
been told for months not to get ready for these budget cuts. in the meantime, "the washington post" released a survey earlier this week. it found 53% of people polled would blame republicans for going over the cliff. 27% would blame president obama. not a lot of sunshine that we're seeing this these talks. >> i was telling mike, i was listening to an interview with trent lott, former leader back in the days in the clinton administration. he said he and daschle would good friends and that they worked on it but he was also criticized by his fellow republicans for being a compromiser. when did compromise get to be a dirty word. >> we've seen signs of compromise on the side of john boehner and seen republicans go after him for doing that. >> exactly. it's a price of being a leader. what do you have for us in the next half-hour? >> it's the season we're dressing up our homes with a lot of holiday decor. it looks fantastic but can also be a little dangerous. we'll run through some of the possible dangers you might be having in your home right now. >> thanks, jess. >> you got it. >>> poli
of the overspending of obama's first term by having 4% growth instead of 2% growth. and we know how to do it, because we did it under reagan. >> but why would you cut spending then, spending that's supposed to encourage the economy to get better so you get more growth and get rid of your deficits? >> i think -- well, i think we should, one -- first of all, we have to pay down the debt he ran up. we're spending $1 trillion more each year, the federal government -- we, the federal government is spending $1 trillion more each year than when obama walked into office. it's that overspending we need to bring down. raising taxes doesn't solve the overspending problem. it feeds it. and, again, we have been through this lucy and the football thing in '82, in '90. we didn't take the advice of the tax increase last year, and we got spending restraint for the debt ceiling. remember, the republican house has a tremendous power over the debt ceiling. so all this stuff about how we have to bend to the emperor's will isn't true. >> all right. grover norquist, thanks very much. we appreciate your taking the time toni
for me on the phone, senior congressional correspondent. >>> president obama taking the pr on the road to visit with a middle class family in northern virginia this afternoon and push to preserve the middle class tax cut if the president and congress can't reach a deal you know the story. tax rates for the middle class and everyone else will go up the first of next year. meanwhile, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell prevented a simple majority vote to give the president unilateral power to raise the u.s. debt limit. senator mcconnell is demanding 60 senate votes for passage. president obama pushed for the power transfer in a most recent and main proposal last week on the fiscal cliff. >>> now no john mcafee. the millionaire software guru wanted in questioning in the neighbor's murder in belize. maybe you heard mcafee. got arrested in guatemala overnight. shouldn't come as much of a surprise here. the whole time supposedly on the run, he was handing out tv interviews like candy. but listen to this. now the mcafee is in jail, he is blogging from behind bars. the story just keeps gett
the board on everybody. that's a big tax increase. >> and deep across the board spending cuts in defense and other areas of the federal government. >> if you look at the plans that the white house has talked about thus far, they couldn't pass either house of the congress. >> president barack obama says he will not sign a bill without a tax increase on incomes over $250,000. he met with a roomful of ceos in washington today. >> i know that many of you have come down here to try to see is there a way that we can break through the logjam and go ahead and get things done? and i'm here to tell you that nobody wants to get this done more than me. >> and yet house speaker john boehner says the president has not responded to republicans' latest proposal. >> that offer included significant spending cuts and reforms and it include additional revenue. frankly, it was the balanced approach that the president's has been asking for. >> perhaps the boehner/obama phone call late today has moved things along. >> there's lots of activity looking at opposites. what we don't have right now be on -- options
. on a road trip yesterday, president obama indicated that he is willing to compromise, just not on that point about an increase in tax for relthy americans. meantime, speaker boehner says he is still waiting on specific spending cuts. joining us now for analysis, tony fratto, of hamilton place strategies and former white house press secretary and gerald bernstein former economic adviser to vice president joe biden. gentlemen, thank you for being here with us and getting this special day of coverage kicked off for us. >> rising early and rising above. >> exactly. let's talk about this. jared, it seems like things have gotten quieter. do you think that's the case? is that a good sign? >> i think it's probably a pretty good sign. if you look at this morning's papers, you see a number of articles suggesting that there's a bit more compromise in the air. my concern is that tomorrow's papers may say the opposite. so interestingly, there's been some pretty leak free discussions going on, which i actually think is a good thing. they're obviously big, outstanding questions. you mentioned the tax rate
of the news. president obama paying a visit to a family in virginia to make his case for his plan to keep us all from going right off that fiscal cliff. the president says he is optimistic that republicans will cut a deal to keep middle class taxes from going up 26 days from now. leaders in the g.o.p. say the president is forgetting about the other part of the deal. the spending cuts. let's get to ed henry live for us tonight. ed, what else did the president have to say today? >> well, shep, there is so much pessimism from the myan calendar and predictions i suppose to predictions congress can't get its act together and get this fiscal mess cleaned up. the president tried to have a different message. he is trying to say he is optimistic and thinks that when everyone has their say here over the next few days they are finally going to get a deal. take a listen. >> i'm not going to sign any package that somehow prevents the top rate from going up for folks at the top 2%. but i do remain optimistic that we can get something done that is good for families like this one and that is good for the am
fiscal cliff at year's end. aides to president obama and house speaker john boehner, sitting down on thursday. but no progress was made. the sticking points, tax rates for wealthy americans, a possible lifting of the nation's debt ceiling and cutting spending on entitlements. >>> and in yet another bizarre twist in the bizarre saga of software tycoon john mcafee. mcafee was rushed to the hospital thursday from a detention center in guatemala city, after complaining of chest pains. he's now back in his cell and could be send back to belize, where police want to question him about the murder of his neighbor. >>> now, here's diane sawyer with a preview of tonight's "world news." diane? >> so, josh, it's friday. it's great to talk to you. and how about a holiday tradition for years? everybody wondering, what happened to the determined little boy they loved? well, he's all grown up. and he has a perfect gift for you. tonight, behind the scenes of a christmas classic. and he is our "person of the week" tonight. >> cannot wait to see that. >>> and finally, well, we would be remiss if we
saying and others who have looked at this problem, we've done enough cutting in discretionary spending. that shouldn't be part of the current discussion, and, in fact, it isn't. the things that people are talking about now, specifically very important people like president obama and speaker boehner, is the tax code and these programs that we sometimes call entitlements, medicare, medicaid and social security. those are the things that are on the table at the moment, not defense. unless the bargain fails, unless the two sides cannot get together and then the thing that will happen, and it will happen quickly, are drastic cuts in defense and domestic spending and an automatic increase in taxes. that is what must be avoided. just because the economy couldn't take it at this stage. we've had relatively slow growth in the economy, and though it seems to be picking up and the last jobs report was quite favorable, having a crash austerity program right now, that's what the fiscal cliff is, would be a big mistake. so the two sides have to get together on this grand bargain. >> well, we certain
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